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Yemeni Council to Protect Religious Minorities from Houthi Abuse

Yemeni Council to Protect Religious Minorities from Houthi Abuse

Saturday, 4 December, 2021 - 10:45
Houthi militias during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters in Sanaa (AFP)

Representatives of religious minorities in Yemen have agreed to form a coordinating council that would defend their right to freedom of belief and equal citizenship as Iran-backed Houthi militias continue to abuse them.

Houthis have prevented minority faith groups from practicing their rituals, displaced their symbols, and forced them to fight in their ranks.

This is the first gathering of religious minorities in the history of Yemen, which is known for its multiplicity of religious and sectarian groups and their coexistence.

The Yemeni constitution stipulates that all citizens, regardless of their faith group, are equal in rights and duties.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that preparations are underway to announce the Coordinating Council for Religious and Ethnic Minorities in Yemen.

According to sources, the Council will include representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Baha'i faiths. These minorities were the most affected by Houthi oppression.

The Council will have eight members, including four women. It will aim to preserve religious and ethnic pluralism in Yemen.

According to the founders, the goal of establishing the Council is to strengthen the values of partnership and to unify positions on human rights, civil, political, and national issues.

This will be done through promoting the values of tolerance, coexistence, acceptance of others, and equal citizenship, and adopting the issues of these groups in national, regional, and international forums.

Unofficial data estimate that more than three million people of minority faith groups have been affected by the Houthi-waged war in Yemen.

Houthis had deported the Baha'i sect clerics, Jewish families, and Christian priests from Yemen.

Besides the deportation, Houthis have abused the followers of these religious minorities and have shut down their places of worship.

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